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Dog could be destroyed after ‘very nasty bite’

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A WOMAN from Pembroke appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Oct 11) to admit a charge of owning a dog which was dangerously out of control in July 2017, leading to two people she had known for many years getting injured.

Linzi Marie James of Whitehall Avenue conceded that it was her Jack Russell cross, called Toddy, which injured her two neighbours contrary to section 31 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

The offence carries a sentence of up to six months in jail, and the bench have said they will consider all options for sentence.

Prosecutor Vaughan Prichard Jones told the court that the incident happened at around midday. Both neighbours were at home with their husbands in the small cul-de-sac where they live, and both ladies became aware independently that there were three dogs running around outside.

Mr Pritchard Jones said: “The first victim was concerned that the dogs may run into her garage so she went out the front of the house. One of the dogs went in and she tried to shoo the dog. The dog came for her, teeth showing, she felt contact, the dog grazed her but had not bit her. In her attempt to get away, she fell backwards and this caused a fracture in her shoulder.

“The dog then ran across the road and the other neighbour says she then felt a bite to her leg. I have to say it was a very nasty bite. The dog took a chunk out of her leg. She had to have a skin graft. She says that since the operation her mobility has been severely restricted. She says that three weeks after the incident she can only walk a short distance and cannot drive: ‘I have to keep my leg elevated, if not it just aches’. She says that looking back at it all, ‘I didn’t have a fear of dogs but now I do’.”

“My main fear is what could have happened had it been a child,” one of the complainants said in their Victim Impact Statement.

James was interviewed about how the dog got out and she said a friend of hers put a stack of pallets near her fence, which she thought the dogs used to jump the fence.

It was the one dog, the Jack Russell, responsible on both occasions, the court heard.

“The prosecution seeks a destruction order for the dog due to the nature of the injuries. My friend will oppose that and we have no objection for the case being adjourned for that to be decided at a later hearing,” added Mr Pritchard Jones.

Katie Hanson, defending, said that her client was devastated by what had happened.

“She is so remorseful. The complainants are neighbours who she has known her entire life. She has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. We will be asking for an adjournment. She has looked after the dog for a long time, he is 10 years of age. She is a lady who has a number of dogs. She has fostered dogs and kittens for rescue centres. Nothing of this nature has ever happened before. The night this happened the fence was extended in the front garden to make sure that this will never happen again. There has been no problem with the dog since this happened in July,” Ms Hanson continued.

“We have instructed a behaviourist to help us to oppose the destruction of the dog, and we will provide evidence at the next hearing. I have not received the complainant’s statements – we haven’t received that yet so there is still work to be done. I think it is important we have all the evidence before we can make a decision of this nature.”

At the end of the hearing it was decided the case would be adjourned. The Chair of the bench said: “We are happy to put the matter back, and we need an all options pre-sentence report. We are looking at all sentencing options in this case.”

The case to decide the sentence for Linzi James and the future of her dog, Toddy, will be decided on October 31.

Charity

Calls for help over VHF radio may have been a hoax, say RNLI

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THE ANGLE All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch on service at 10:23am this morning, Monday (July 22).

Following a call to the Coastguard from Milford Haven VTS, the crew were tasked after the VTS operators overheard a female voice calling for help on VHF channel 12.

After narrowing down the transmission to having been received on the Pembroke aerial site, the crew were requested to conduct a search.

Launching at 10:30am, the lifeboat made best speed to the moorings at Hazelbeach, and a hasty search was requested by the Coastguard of any moored vessels. The crew began making their way amongst the moorings, heading up to the moorings off Neyland. With nothing untoward sighted, the crew proceeded to search the moorings off Hobbs Point, Barnlake Point, Burton, Llanion and Rudders Boat Yard.

With nothing found, the Coastguard requested that the crew continue their search up river to Picton Point. The lifeboat continued searching up the western shore encompassing Llangwm before altering course just past Landshipping and searching the eastern shore back down the river, calling in to Lawrenny on the way to check any vessels moored there.

The RNLI said that the search continued back down as far as the Cleddau Bridge.

On Facebook the organisation posted :”Following a thorough visual, communications and radar search the crew were subsequently stood down when no further information or calls had been received.

“The tasking was therefore deemed to be a hoax call.

“The lifeboat was back alongside and readied for further service by 1pm.”

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Crime

Police investigating after man injured during altercation in cemetery

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POLICE have confirmed that they are investigating a report of an altercation which occurred in the cemetery off Gelliswick Road, Hakin, Milford Haven sometime between 4.30 and 5.00pm, Wednesday 17th July, 2024.

Following the incident, a 32-year-old man went to hospital for treatment and was later released.

A 19-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail pending further police enquiries police have confirmed.

The incident caught the attention of locals, who said there was a large police response to the incident included armed officers.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: 394 of the 17th

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org

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Crime

West Wales man jailed for rape after victim’s cries heard

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A WEST WALES man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for raping a woman in an attack that ended only when her cries for help were heard by others. Charlie Evans, a 22-year-old former Exeter University student, ignored his victim’s repeated pleas for him to stop during the 45-minute ordeal.

The incident took place after Evans and his victim had attended a party, where both had been drinking. The court heard that after kissing, the pair left together, with the woman under the impression that Evans lived in a flat with her friend.

Upon returning to the flat, the woman used the toilet before Evans raped her, despite her repeatedly saying no. The prosecutor described the victim as crying hysterically and added: “She did not want these things to happen.”

During the attack, one student testified they could hear the victim not consenting and begging Evans to stop. Another person said they were so concerned they inquired about what was happening.

Police were alerted after the incident was reported to campus staff, who then contacted the emergency services. Evans was told to leave his flat and was subsequently removed from the university. He denied the offence during his police interview.

Evans, of Victoria Avenue, Mumbles, Swansea, was convicted earlier this year at Exeter Crown Court of rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced on July 12. In a victim statement, the woman said her life had been forever changed by Evans’s actions. She expressed feelings of fear, confusion, and shame during the incident and continues to suffer from nightmares. She now feels distrustful of men and has sought support to cope with her trauma, the court heard.

Christopher Quinlan KC, defending, presented multiple good character references for Evans, describing him as a “kind and respectful” young man who was “always positive, compassionate and thoughtful.” He argued that his client’s life was “in ruins” as a result of his actions.

However, Judge Stephen Climie told Evans he had “completely misrepresented” his victim’s position, adding: “She was so far away from wishing to engage in your sexual activity that the only explanation for your attitude and approach was alcohol that blinded you to what was clearly and obviously the word ‘No’.” He continued: “So far as your life is concerned you will be crushed as a result of the sentence I’m required to impose.”

Following the sentencing, DC Michele Hicks from Devon and Cornwall Police’s major crime investigation team praised the victim for her courage and resilience throughout the investigation. She said: “I hope this case reassures the community how seriously the police take reports of sexual violence against women and girls and gives people the courage to come forward in future.”

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